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Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9568
Experience:  Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.
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My Shiba Inu male is 7 months old. Got m at 2 months old and

Customer Question

My Shiba Inu male is 7 months old. Got him at 2 months old and have been bringing him to the dog park ever since. Only recently in the past 3 weeks he has been aggressive with other dogs and sometimes even starts fights for no reason. I am hesitant now to even bring him to the dog park because I am afraid he will hurt another dog. What should I do? Will neutering him help at all? I want to be able to bring him to dog parks and not worry he will start a fight or hurt another dog.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I have been in the dog field for 25 years. I am a Therapy Dog & AKC Evaluator/trainer/ specializing in behavior. It will be my pleasure to help you today.

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Neutering will cut down on aggression quite a bit and it is better to do it sooner rather than later. If you wait too long since this behavior has already started it will soon become a learned behavior so that every time he enters the park he will want to fight.

You will also have to brush up on training.Two commands that will help is the Leave it command and a firm recall (come). When the leave it is taught correctly that can stop a dog in its tracks from going after what is on its mind and return his focus to you.

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

What I would do is train first in non distracting places such as in the home, then build up to more distracting places. If you try to use these commands when the dog is in the dog park and he has not learned them to 100 % reliability, then they will not work.

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

I recommend clicker training because it is a positive method. If you are not familiar with this let me know and I will get you step by step directions and videos.

I would recommend also that since you want to take him to the dog park for exercise you try to pick a time where there are not as many people. I would put a harness on him and attach a 30 foot cotton training lead so you can get a hold of him safely if needed and lure him back to you. I would also use this lead when your commands are in place for a short while so he stays firm with them. If he gets away from you once when you use those commands, he may not listen to you again.So you have to be positive he will listen in all situations before letting him off lead. Keep in mind that dogs do not carry over what they learned in one place to another place that is why when we train ,we train daily and everywhere we take the dog.

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

When you get to more distracting places you want to up the reward ante. In the home you can use cheerios , as it is different and dogs usually like them. When you move outside that has to be upped to hot dog slivers and when in the park use chicken slivers. The key to successful training is that the dog want to feel happy just to go to the owner when called.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will get him neutered ASAP and pray that this alone calms him down significantly. I see dogs that are not neutered but are still yet calm. I think it started when he got attacked by another dog in the park. Ever since then he wasn't the same. I want the best for my pup and want him to be able to play with others (dogs). So you are saying do not bring my dog to the dog park until he fully understands the LEAVE IT and COME commands?
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

I am saying if you bring him try to go when there are less people there and keep the 30 foot cotton training lead on him so you can get him if you need to reel him back to you. But until he learns the commands , do not use them at the dog park.

Depending on when this other dog attacked him would depend on what imprint was left in his mind. Dogs go through certain stages as they grow up to 5 years where there are imprints left and need to be worked though. So at the 4 to 8 month age there is a play instinct and a flight instinct. During 6 to 14 months a fear imprint is left and some things that the dog was perfectly fine with before are suddenly not fine as this is the second time you will see a fear impression made. The first happens at 8 to 11 weeks old. If this attack happened near the fear imprint then that may be why he is acting out. 'Get the dog before the dog can get me' type of thing.

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Clicker training/positive method training/ print off

video’s to see how clicker training is done, scroll down to videos

clicker maintaining focus

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

IF after training the commands and there is still a problem when you use them in the park then you have to go back to the last place he was listening and train later. You can also move to behavior adjustment training (BAT) at this time which is basically starting at a point where he is not excited and listening to you. Just make sure you don't cross his calmness threshold before he is ready. Here is a link to take you through BAT

Training method BAT

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

I do have to go out for the afternoon and early evening hours as I am training a dog for service work. I think I gave you enough to get started with your little guy. They learn pretty quick with the clicker training. If you are satisfied with my answer please don't forget to rate so the company compensates me for my time. If there is something you don't understand just reply and I will get back to you later tonight:)

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